PA Deputy: Authority Will Not Pay Hamas Wages

08 Sep
10:09 PM

Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa, of the Palestinian Authority, said Sunday that the PA will not pay the salaries of Hamas civil servants in Gaza, but may provide financial assistance.’We are looking for a temporary solution to send money through non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations or any other entity,’ Mustafa declared to Ma’an News Agency.

‘We want to avoid any legal confrontation with the United States whose law prohibits channeling money to Hamas because it’s blacklisted as a terrorist organization according to American law,’ he asserted.

See contrary report: Cairo Truce Negotiations to Begin Soon, PA to Pay Hamas Employees

Since first signing a unity agreement in April, Hamas said that the new government must take responsibility for paying its 45,000 employees, some 27,000 of which are civil servants, he additionally stated.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said of the wage problem, Sunday:

‘The government and the banks operating in the Palestinian territories were warned that, if they make these payments to former Hamas government employees in Gaza, then the government and the people will be boycotted.’

‘If this happens, the Palestinian banking system will face a huge problem that will threaten the Palestinian situation in general,’ he told AFP.

Twenty teams have been working with international organizations to calculate economic losses during Israel’s recent offensive in the Gaza Strip, while the PA is reportedly considering a combination of cash payments and mobile housing for those displaced during the conflict.

A New York donor conference, due to be held on Sept. 22 will evaluate financial support to the PA, with the PA to submit its own report on damages in Gaza to an eariler conference scheduled for October.

On Monday, Hamas accused President Mahmoud Abbas of trying to sabotage the fragile reconciliation agreement, after he accused them of running ‘a shadow government’ in Gaza, according to AFP.

Abbas, on Saturday, threatened to break off the unity agreement over Hamas’ de facto control of the Gaza Strip.

The democratically elected group forcibly took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, ousting Abbas loyals and sparking a bitter and bloody feud with his Fatah movement, which lasted up until the April reconciliation deal.

In related Monday news, President Abbas’ office has dismissed reports that Egypt offered part of Sinai, to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), as a part of a future Palestinian state.

Secretary-general for the president’s office, al-Tayyib Abd al-Rahim, stated that the reports were ‘fabricated’, and that Palestinian leadership would not accept any alternative to a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

(According to Israeli army radio, Egyptian President Abdel al-Sisi reportedly offered some 1,600 square kilometers (994 square miles) of the Sinai Peninsula as an expansion of the Gaza Strip, which would then become a Palestinian state controlled by the PA.)

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